It's practically unavoidable. At some point in our lives, we will all come across someone who is downright toxic. More often than not this person is someone in our immediate social circle-a friend, a partner, a family member, etc.
It may not be obvious at first that they're toxic, but the signs do, and will, present themselves.
I have come across many toxic people in my 22 years of living and looking back, I can now see that their toxic qualities were right there in plain sight. However, at the time it was occurring, I couldn't see these blatant signs. Hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes. Usually, it's hard to admit someone is toxic while in the moment because this person is also close to you and you may not want to admit it's actually happening. You will deny and deny because you just can't see how this person, who you consider so dear to you, could actually be against you.
So here are 6 signs that someone is toxic. These are taken from both personal experience and what I've witnessed over the years.
1. They make everything about them
When you are with this person, they will pretty much only talk about themselves: their problems, their business, their relationships, etc. They won't ask you anything about you, and the rare chance they do, they won't seem too engaged in what you're saying.
2. They put you down for your choices, interests, lifestyle, etc
3. They will fight with you about pretty much anything
Toxic people are usually very unhappy themselves and take pleasure in the pain of others. He/she will get mad at you for things that aren't even worth an argument, and turn it into a full out screaming match. It will leave you very confused and even second guessing yourself if you actually did say or do something wrong. This person wants to make you feel small and stupid. They will take anything they can and try to start an argument with you about it.
4. They will prey on your insecurities
5. They will criticize you
From the way you dress, what you eat, what you like to do for fun, this person will take every opportunity they can to criticize you. This will make you start to hate certain things you once loved, or see flaws that aren't actually there. They will say things like "ugh you're so stupid" or "well maybe if you didn't __ then ____".
6. They will gaslight you
Now, this one may be very hard to pick up on and you won't really realize it's happening until you've cut this person out of you're life and moved forward. Gaslighting is when someone will manipulate someone else into questioning their perception, sanity, self image, if they're right or wrong, etc. It's basically a way to make someone have self-doubt about a plethora of different aspects of their life. It depends on what this person chooses to gaslight you about. For instance, a toxic friend wrongfully labeled me and pretty much brainwashed me into believing she was right. She made me feel like my actions, my character, my personality, were all shameful and she would feed me lies about how everyone around me agreed that I was the way she perceived me to be. I let her mentally manipulate me and make me question my whole identity, everything that made me, me, making me feel like I was living in a lie. She got into my head and made me believe that there were things wrong with me when in reality, nothing was wrong.
Gaslighting is scary when it's happening to you, likely because you don't see it happening until you're out of that toxic relationship, the same way I guess you don't notice gas in your home until the alarm goes off and you get out of that toxic home, hence the term.
If any of the above signs ring a bell in your personal life, start paying more attention to that relationship and look for more toxic cues. These kinds of people are very smart and clever. They know how to get into someone's head and completely tear them down. Outsmart them by recognizing the signs and end the relationship before it metaphorically ends you. It's not easy, I'm not going to lie. Cutting ties with a person you thought was always going to be there for you, hurts. But what hurts more is keeping someone around who is just unhealthy for you. Life is too short to be around toxic people.